Pa. voters speak

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Tomorrow is Election Day. More than 2.4 million early ballots have already been collected in Pennsylvania. Millions more people are expected to head to the polls in person on Tuesday, masks on.  

Pennsylvania is among the states most likely to tip the scales of the electoral college this year, according to many poll-watchers. So how are we leaning? How are we feeling

WHYY and Keystone Crossroads have been talking to voters across the state —  from proud Trumpers to folks ridin’ with Biden, from the burbs to the city to rural Pa.  Today, we step aside and bring you their voices. 

How are Pennsylvanians voting — and why? 

Hear the whole story on The Why

Interview Highlights

Val Dejesus, 69, Philadelphia, Democrat

“I had a part time job working in a funeral parlor. And now because of the coronavirus, I’m not able to do that part time job because I have underlying health issues. So it’s not safe for me to be in that environment. If I go out, I try to go out very early in the morning. And it’s not a lot of people in the street. I’m not able to be with my family like we usually are. It’s a little depressing because in the summertime, I could open my door, see my neighbors… The winter is coming. I’m not going to be able to do that.

The president has lied. He’s not concerned with health issues at all. He’s concerned with himself. And he was able to get that treatment, you know. But will I be able to get that if I contact the virus? No…. Just about all of my friends have done the mail- in ballots. I have always voted for Democrats. I have voted for Democrats this year. I voted for Joe Biden. I voted for Biden for both reasons. I don’t like Trump and I do like Joe. I think Joe would do a good job for us Democrats.”

Roy Straley, 59, Marion, Franklin County, Republican

“In 2016, I voted for President Trump and in 2020, I plan to vote for President Trump again.

I am a Republican and I guess I’ve been Republican since I was about 14.  My sister, bless her heart, is a Democrat, and she voted for Hillary [Clinton]. We love each other. And we don’t discuss politics when we’re side-by-side in our area. But the thing of it is, when it came to choosing between the two, abortion was one of my things that I would say would be more why I would lean toward Trump than Hillary.

The way that COVID affected us personally would be businesses shutting down. But as far as me personally, I had my job delivering and right now, I’m in my own service van by myself, so I’m not around anybody.

I have no issues with any of the protests. We had multiple protests in Chambersburg, Waynesboro and Gettysburg. And we had no issues with anybody getting out of hand. Everybody, if they wanted to stand on the square in Chambersburg and hold a sign up that says “Justice for Floyd” or “Black Lives Matter,”…they stood there peacefully, they held their signs. We had no issues in our area whatsoever.”

Gabriela Pedroza Sanches, 33, West Grove

“I have been in the United States since I was five. I’m currently a recipient of DOCA, which means I’m not allowed to vote. On a personal level, it’s just been incredibly stressful. I feel like I’ve always hanging on a limb not knowing whether or not I’m going to be able to stay. 

I work full-time as a legal assistant for an immigration attorney. The four years have been incredibly chaotic. I feel like as someone who cannot vote and cannot go out and use my vote to make a difference, I think the most important thing for me has been focusing on those who can vote and informing them how important it is for them to go out to vote. A lot of people, especially in the Latino community, don’t realize that the difference that voting makes. And I think a lot of people think, ‘Why should I vote? My vote won’t make a difference anyway.'”

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